Hypothetically what good or bad would happen if you forced practically every user to be a decoy relay.

So Tor right now, gives you the option to be a relay which is awesome. But what would be the outcome if 90% of the users were relays of decoy transmissions.

For example: A client only user named Dallas sends real intended info to relay (A) to relay (B) to relay (C) to the internet. But as a decoy Dallas also automatically sends info to a Client only user(2) which hops to a Client only user(3) and then relays to Client user(4).

So hypothetically Dallas's intended web page goes through relay (C) and gets to view howtocheatonSATs.com while some decoy websites like google.com go through a couple of clients.

Obviously the decoy websites that are sent automatic should just be a random website from a list of safe websites that nobody would mind running as a relay from their own tightly watched school/work connection and safe in most censorship countries. And it should be something that people could opt out of if they so do wish.

Pretty much every time user "Dallas" clicks to go to a new site 2-5 random decoys relays are sent out.

Would this help or hurt the anonymity of Tor? PS if this is a good idea, dibs on naming this the 'Garlic Function'!

Here's part 2 to the equation: What if this was an Add-On or an extension that could be added to Chrome and Firefox like HTTPS Everywhere. So the decoy information could be sent out of the Tor network. Or the fact more people are sending decoy info so it's harder for companies to track traffic.

1 Answer 1


It would be bad, generally speaking. The user that can not run a relay to keep his privacy - and sometimes even a life(!) in a safe way - should be sure, that no hidden functionality is added. Ever. A user that can run a relay, but not doing it is hurting it's Tor experience badly : you can try to compare it yourself just by running a fresh installation of Tor, especially on a static internet IP, and after that just add a relay option with ORPort - and see the boost with your own eyes. A "garlic routing" is a I2P project, not Onion one.

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